Tips for Tackling Furlough… Self-Improvement!

Let’s face it, for some, being on furlough leave in the beginning was a novelty. Still being paid 80% to watch Netflix, get fit, decorate the house… sounds good, right? For so many, that's not been the case. Jobs are at risk, routines disrupted, and suddenly sitting wondering and waiting if jobs are still safe is extremely difficult, in some cases leading to increases in stress, anxiety and mental health problems.

If you are still on furlough and are facing another tough few months, why not spend your time wisely, get ahead of the game and get yourself skilled up? Not only do qualifications look great on your CV, developing skills for the future can provide an all-important focus during these very strange times.

Here’s 3 of our suggestions...


Get a Free Safety Qualification

Highfields are offering free ‘Action Counters Terrorism’ Awareness E Learning right now. If you have a desire to work in spectator safety, no matter the capacity, this is a great bit of learning to get under your belt and will form part of any further qualifications you might undertake in this area. Here's a link to find out more:


Get Enrolled onto a Fully-Funded Training Course. Exclusive to West Midlands Residents

If you’re based in Birmingham, Solihull, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coventry or Sandwell, your councils are offering free qualifications to residents right now. Mitre’s courses include Customer Service, Leadership and Management as well as courses dedicated to sports coaching. This is a fantastic opportunity – these courses are led by expert tutors and provide a brilliant opportunity for learning alongside a group of keen learners from around the West Midlands. As industry recognised qualifications, they’ll go some way to helping you towards a new career, or for future employment progression so are well worth taking a look at! Find out all about these courses here:


Ask your employer to consider putting you on an Apprenticeship This might seem like an ‘out there’ idea but bear with us. If you’re aged 16 or over you can complete an apprenticeship course right now, and it’s worth speaking with your employer about. If you're workload has been reduced due to COVID, it's likely you could use that spare time for personal development, until business is back to usual! Here’s how it might work:

  • To be eligible, you must complete an apprenticeship qualification that provides you with new knowledge and skills. So, if you’re thinking of an apprenticeship in a subject area you’re already qualified in, you’ll need to study at a higher level or in a different subject (e.g. as long as your degree isn’t in Leadership and Management, you’ll likely find a course to suit you).

  • The course can be completed over a minimum of 12 months, dedicating 20% of your time to the apprenticeship training. The reality is that if you’re on furlough, that is lots of ‘off-the-job’ training that can be completed, meaning you can take those new skills back into your employment when your furlough leave ends.

  • To complete the apprenticeship programme, you must remain in employment for the duration of your course. You will need to speak with your employer to ensure that this will be possible for you before starting your place on the course.

Why should your employer consider it? Well, for starters when we start to return to business normality, your employer will have you back in full time employment, now with a wealth of new and ongoing knowledge for the year making, making you more effective in your role. Secondly, the cost to your employer is just 5% of the course fee (0% if your employer is a levy payer!), less than the average cost of a 2-day training programme. But, if that’s a worry, fear not. To encourage employers to take on apprenticeship training, currently any employer hiring a new apprentice before March 31st, 2021 will receive a cash incentive between £1500 - £3000 from the government. More information can be found here:

More information about Mitre Apprenticeship Training can be found here:

For any more information, contact our friendly team via our website, or email

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